Since The Workshop : Gladys Jem


In 2009, I met one of the sweetest, bubbliest, and silliest girls. She had a heart of gold and immediately stepped up with a few other photographers and planned a mixer the night before attending my photography workshop in Orange County. Little did I realize that this girl would grow a successful photography business in San Francisco…and later become a J* bride (I photographed her Sonoma wedding in 2010).

Gladys Jem is shaking things up in the Bay Area and today she offered to share what she learned from theWorkshop.

It’s been a few years since Jasmine’s workshop in 2009. I showed up with barely any shooting experience and a hunger to learn everything that would help get me started. Initially, I went to Jasmine’s workshop to build on technical skills that I lacked as a new photographer. I returned to San Francisco with so much more. Looking back, a lot has happened since then. Up’s, down’s, and everything in between. It all makes me realize that what I really took away from The Workshop didn’t come from watching Jasmine shoot, or how she processed her images. It’s that the journey is worth it.

If you’re new to photography, keep in mind that everything takes time. Add to that, everyone’s journey is different. What works for someone else, might not work for you. That’s more than okay. It’s going to happen when the time is right. I know it’s easy to follow others, especially when you’re starting out. I’m guilty of it. But trust me, making your own path is better than following someone else’s. Focus on accomplishing your goals and dreams. Do it because it feels right for you. No matter how little the accomplishment may be, or how long it may take, you have to remember that you’re one step closer than you were before. Things are happening. Eventually, you’ll realize that you’ve done so much more than you thought possible.

On this journey, you’ll find that there will be negatives, but there will also be positives. There will be clients who love your photos, and there will be clients who tell you how to do your job. I’ve experienced both. You’ll doubt yourself, make mistakes, get scared, and fail. In these moments, take the time to reflect on your feelings. Help it lead you to find and strengthen your voice. Make the changes that are needed. Learn from your mistakes. Let these experiences inspire you to work even harder.

Lastly, listen to how you feel. Follow your heart. I know, I know. We’ve heard it before, but it’s so true. Some of the most beautiful things happen when you stop thinking, and start feeling.

I write this post with a full heart knowing that we’re all on this journey together. Remember, it’s worth it.

If you’re interested in attending a future Workshop, be sure to sign up for the J* Newsletter to be the first to know when registration opens.